Qatar 2022: Why isn’t Gio Reyna starting XI vs. Iran?


Once again, the talented Borussia Dortmund player is nowhere to be found on the pitch. So, why isn’t Gio Reyna starting for the USMNT vs. Iran?

The United States Men’s National Team takes the field in a must-win game against Iran. Both teams could advance to the next round with a win in this game, and given the countries’ history together, there is too much at stake.

Iran even tried to kick the USMNT out of the World Cup over their flag controversy, and Tyler Adams had to deal with a pretty awkward question while addressing the Iranian media.

So with how much is at stake this time around, one might wonder if Gregg Berhalter would send his best men onto the field. If that’s the case, why isn’t Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna playing?

Qatar 2022: Why Isn’t Gio Reyna Playing Vs. Iran?

According to former USMNT player Eric Wynalda, there’s a feud between Gio Reyna and coach Gregg Berhalter, up to the point where he lied about Reyna’s fitness when he didn’t sub him in vs. Wales:

“With Gio Reyna out of the lineup right now, which has been a massive controversy within the team, even his own teammates are wanting him on the field and it seems to be some internal strife with the manager Gregg Berhalter,” Wynalda said. “He was fit to play, Berhalter did lie to the media, and the player had to go along with that story.”

Reyna is arguably the USMNT’s most talented player, so he should be subbed on if they need him, regardless of Berhalter’s personal feelings about him. Also, he could be coaching for his job, so he cannot afford this right now.

The USMNT has been solid at the center of the pitch and defensively, but they’ve lacked playmaking, creation, and ball security at times, which are three things the Borussia Dortmund star can give them. Hopefully, this decision won’t come back to haunt Berhalter with an early exit, as this generation is just way too talented.

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